Christoph Bornschein: "Is Germany lagging behind in Digitization?"

Together with Christoph Bornschein, a full house of over 70 participants from our master programs, as well as alumni, faculty and advisory board members, engaged in a thought-provoking discussion about 'Why Germany is Lagging Behind in Digitization'. Thanks to all for sharing your perspectives with us!

Julian Brinckmann (Master of Digital Transformation Management, Class of 2020)

Who says a member of a supervisory board needs to wear a tie? Christoph Bornschein advises several of the DAX executives in Germany on their digital strategy, writes articles for the Handelsblatt and Manager Magazine and in addition to leading his consulting agency in Berlin, he sits in the supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank. Key learnings for me from our discussion with Christoph Bornschein: (1) In the digital age, Corporates have to diversify their product revenue streams going away from having one Business model towards having a “portfolio of bets” (2) Germany’s current challenge in the digitalization is that Germans are a nation of users not creators - explaining the comparably low number of unicorns in Germany (3) Important to change the German culture from his point of view, is for managers and politicians to develop a positive narrative of the future rather than focusing on possible downsides of the digitalization.

Dominik Birkner (Master of Digital Transformation Management, Class of 2020)

Germany, we have a problem! It has been a great pleasure talking to Christoph Bornschein about digitization in Germany GBS. Most likely, he is the only member of the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank who wears a t-shirt in the board meeting. Also, he is the founder of TLGG and consults most DAX companies in digital transformation. Key takeaways: (1) Germany has become a nation of users, not creators (2) We have been successful in mechanical engineering, but we missed out on all digital innovations. We need to overcome our “zero-failure” culture and the “Germany Angst” and create more tax incentives for early start-up investments. (3) The Government needs to invest more! Stepping back from its 3 bn investment plan into AI to 500 million for the next three years is a step in the wrong direction. The Chinese city Tianjin itself will spend 13 bn Euro! (4) In the digital world, companies need to diversify their revenue streams. Most incumbents rely on a single business model with no alternative in their hands. Christoph advises to have a “portfolio of bets” as this allows to be brave enough to disrupt your own business model. Also, check out the website. It is worth it.